Banbury 1 Yeltz 0

04 February 2006

The mighty Yeltz slipped back a little in the promotion race with a hard-fought defeat at Banbury. Despite going behind in the first half, according to Dave's match report it seems like it was a pretty even game. Oh well, unfortunately we can't win them all.

On Saturday we play Team Bath again, this time at The Grove. Obviously after winning at "their place" we'd hope to get all three points again, but they're not a bad team so it's no certainty. However our recent form has been good, so let's hope for a much needed victory.

Match Report from DJ

Banbury United: Foster; Saulsbury, Bridges, Sullivan, Jackson, Fuller, Stanbridge, Redknap, Blossom (Gooderick 88), Baird, Lazarus (Kinch 83). Unused Subs: Gardner, Robinson, Tricker

Halesowen Town: Coleman; Pierpoint, Haywood (C. Smith 85), Preston, Pope, Cooper (Amos 77), Cowley (N. Smith 77), Lamey, Forinton, Hadland, Forsdick. Unused Subs: Skidmore, Johnson.

Referee: C. Lymer (Mayford) Attendance: 418 Booked: Preston (28)

Halesowen were beaten by a crucial solitary strike in end-to-end action against fellow play-off contenders Banbury.

The Yeltz won a 5th minute corner after home goalkeeper Alan Foster failed to gather Dave Haywood's cross. After that, the lively Puritans had much the better of the first half with Simon Forsdick blocking Ollie Stanbridge's 7th minute shot. Forsdick then handled on the edge of his own area and although Ady Fuller smashed the 15th minute free-kick against the defensive wall, the ball fell invitingly to James Saulsbury but he headed wide from just three yards. Two minutes later, goalkeeper Dean Coleman did well to collect Saulsbury's dangerous cross under pressure and on 19 minutes Stuart Bridges fired a loose ball over the bar.

George REDKNAP gave Banbury a 20th minute lead by firing home on the half-volley from 15 yards after a cross from the right-wing was only partly cleared. Coleman collected a 23rd minute effort from Wayne Blossom and in the 26th minute Chris Jackson played a clever 20-yard free-kick into the area but the ball across goal was cleared.

Coleman produced a sensational 33rd minute reflex save to scoop the ball over the bar after Andy Baird put Stanbridge free in space in the area.

Just before the interval Ian Cooper's 37th minute volley from 25 yards was easily gathered by home goalkeeper Alan Foster and in the 43rd minute Steve Pope's header dropped inches wide of the post from Haywood's free-kick.

The Yeltz pressed forward strongly for an equaliser after the break and in the 47th minute Foster saved Nicki Preston's close range header on the line from Haywood's corner. Cooper's 53rd minute volley struck a defender and Nathan Lamey curled a 20-yard free-kick high over the bar a minute later.

On the break Stanbridge's 58th minute cross just evaded the head of Neil Lazarus in front of goal. But with the visitors keeping up the pressure Alex Cowley's 59th minute free-kick was flicked away for a corner. Scott Hadland then won the ball in midfield on the hour but former Banbury striker Howard Forinton headed high from Lamey's cross. In another good spell of attacking, Cowley crossed from the right and Haywood drove over the bar in the 64th minute.

In a series of useful Banbury counter-attacks, Preston headed off his own goal-line on 73 minutes and a minute later Blossom touched over the bar from just five yards out when free on goal. Stuart Pierpoint then made a good interception to deny Blossom in the 79th minute.

Foster made a super 82nd minute save to keep out substitute Nick Smith's 20 yard drive with eight minutes remaining as the home defence held firm. In the dying seconds Preston and Pope made saving tackles to deny home substitute Matty Gooderick on another break.